Why did "surf music" come to be? Why the connection to surfing?

I have never really understood the phenomenon of early-60s “surf music” that became hugely popular. What did this music have to do with surfing? Is there something about the melody that’s reminiscent of surfing? There haven’t really been any other genres of American rock music that were tied to a particular pastime like this. Why was it so popular? Why did the public associate it with surfing? Was it just a result of marketing? And what were its roots, musically?

Here’s a good summary: [noparse]http://files.legendarysurfers.com/surf/legends/lsc212.html#surf_music_roots[/noparse]

MOD NOTE: site may contain malware.

OK, thanks for that. I have got to say…that might be the absolute worst background for text that I have ever seen in my life. Whose idiotic idea was it to set the text against a busy, ugly, multicolored background? I will have to copy and paste that into Word before I read it.

When going to that legendary surfers site the Microsoft Malware tool reports a Trojan:Win32/Jpgiframe.A

So, heads up.

Just goes to show that you never can be too careful when surfing the Internet. Ha ha ha!

dodges tomatoes

Surfing took off in the late 50s early 60s, and people write songs about what they love. Besides, this just screams surf.

The Beach Boys made a career out of the California lifestyle. Fun, sun, beaches, babes in bikinis and surfing. I’ve heard only one member of the group even surfed. But, the image was great for marketing their early records.

I’ve wondered if the Beach Boys created the beach, surfing music? Or were there earlier groups that pioneered it?

The Beach Boys didn’t create surf music. Heck, one of the classic instrumental tunes was recorded by a British group back in 1960. Dick Dale had hits with “Let’s Go Trippin’” and “Miserlou” before the Beach Boys were ever formed. Link Wray was surf before Brian Wilson ever saw an ocean.

Let’s go surfin’ now.

Everybody’s learnin’ how.

Come on and safari with me!

But there’s no surf in Cleveland.

Oh yes there is!

Linky no worky.

I’m still wet behind the ears.


Misirlou (‘Egyptian Girl’) was a rebetiko (Greek urban folk music) song first performed in 1927.

Dick Dale is partly of Lebanese descent, and an uncle was an oud player performing belly-dancing music. He was influenced by Middle-Eastern music, and he also performed a surf version of Hava Nagila.

That’s surfari. :cool:

I’m board.

Is “California Sun” by The Rivieras properly considered surf music? It doesn’t reference surfing, but it’s about California and has that surf sound or rhythm or wave or whatever you call it. I’ve wondered about this for a long time.